A couple of years ago I was asked if we could make Maptek Vulcan “Bigger, Better and Faster”. In this inaugural installment, I will review a couple of the noteworthy advancements that users don’t want to miss in the Vulcan 8.2 release this November.
For a number of years now, Vulcan memory has been limited to less than 4GB, even on 64-bit systems. In the Vulcan 8.1.4 and 8.2 releases we have provided 64-bit users the ability to utilize the entire 64-bit memory space, allowing for larger datasets to be managed within Vulcan. Although this is just a first step in our Large Data Management roadmap, users who had large designs, grids, triangulations or block models that could not load in the past can start up Vulcan 8.2 on a 64-bit O/S; I think they will be happy they did.
Prior to 8.2, Vulcan provided only 32 indexed color palettes with a 12 bit colour depth, or 4096 colours. In Vulcan 8.2, we removed this limitation and have provided 256 indexed colour palettes with 24 bit colour depth, or over 16 million colours. We have made this feature optional so that future versions of Vulcan are backwards compatible with the old colour indexing scheme. However, for those that need more colours, Vulcan 8.2 makes the migration painless and provides all the colour a user will ever need.
The Maptek Quality Assurance team has been working hard to ensure that each and every release of Vulcan is more rigorously tested. In next week’s blog Tom Sweet, Vulcan Director of Global Quality Assurance, will explain why Vulcan 8.2 is the most-tested version ever created by Maptek, and why users should feel comfortable upgrading whenever there is a Vulcan release.
We have created a new CSV import option that will allow imports of CSV files into databases to be done more quickly. The new option does not require that users have a pre-existing design like previous versions did. Once the import is performed, the parameters will be saved in a new specification file for later use, such as for unattended import scripts. We believe this new option will save the user time and effort when importing data from other packages.
Our documentation team has also been working hard to provide new user-friendly tutorials. These tutorials provide step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the most common Vulcan features. As a side note, we would like to hear your feedback on the initial rollout of these tutorials so that we can provide more of them in future releases.
Technical services has been working closely with the engineering team to create a Rapid Pit Design tool that allows users to create designs using a mid-level bench representation. Read how this tool can save users time when creating multiple designs in our blog by Steve Uecker, Vulcan Client Experience Manager, on October 29.
We have also provided a number of enhancements to Chronos, including updates to the Excel interface, which can make it up to 10 times faster than previous versions. To achieve this, we have created an Excel add-in that provides us with the ability to optimize the data transfer and calculation speeds.
Until next time…
I hope you find these advancements as exciting as I do. Stay tuned – there are more announcements to come as we make Vulcan bigger, better and faster!
Director of Global Product Development - Vulcan
October 15, 2012
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